On Monday, the World Economic Forum organised the 26th crystal award ceremony as a part of it’s 50th annual meet. The event brought together a number of influential youth leaders and social activists on a single platform to applaud their contributions in building a sustainable society. One of them was Deepika Padukone. She was awarded the Crystal Awards 2020 for advocating mental health awareness and leading efforts to destigmatize mental illness. Padukone herself was diagnosed of clinical depression in 2014. She began to shatter the stigma around mental illness by speaking openly about her battle. With that initial step, today Padukone runs the Live Love Laugh Foundation that assists people suffering from depression. Padukone delivered a powerful and moving acceptance speech on mental health and how it is important to support and encourage people suffering from it.

According to The Hindu, Padukone started her speech by marking the increasing rate of people succumbing to mental illness. She said, “In the time it has taken me to accept this award, the world has lost one more person to suicide. One trillion dollars is the estimated impact of depression and mental illness on the world economy.”

“Mental illness has presented us all with a very tough challenge. But my love-hate relationship with mental illness has taught me so much. To be patient is one. That you are not alone, but most importantly that there is hope.”

Building a cohesive society

Deepika spoke about the importance of building a cohesive society that respects people battling with mental health issues. According to NDTV, she said, “As most of us know stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world is the theme for this year’s meeting but in order to truly achieve now more than ever before, we need to prioritise the needs of every individual, including those who have been affected by mental illness.”

What her struggle taught her

Speaking about the challenges that mental health issues bring across one’s life, Deepika referred to her own struggle. According to India Today, she spoke about her experience when she was diagnosed with depression and how with her mother’s support she sought medical help. She said, “Depression is a common medical illness. It is important to understand that anxiety and depression are like any other illness and are treatable. Acceptance is the first step to recovery. It was the experience with this illness that encouraged me to set up Live Love Laugh.”

Also Read: Accepting Your Mental Health Issues Is The First Step To Healing

An empathetic message about hope

Conveying a strong and empathetic message to the people who are battling with depression, Deepika added, “Mental illness has presented us all with a very tough challenge. But my love-hate relationship with mental illness has taught me so much. To be patient is one. That you are not alone, but most importantly that there is hope.”

“In the time it has taken me to accept this award, the world has lost one more person to suicide. One trillion dollars is the estimated impact of depression and mental illness on the world economy.”

She concluded her speech on mental illness with a powerful and inspirational quote by Martin Luther King that suggests an endless hope. She said, “In the words of Martin Luther King, ‘Everything that is done in the world, is done by hope.’”

Picture Credit: Deccan Herald

Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

Also Read: Here’s How To Get Things Done Despite Depression

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